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My sister's cats...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Please help me give advice. Both of her previously totally healthy cats are now getting UTI's.

Here are some facts:
1) They eat 9lives and Purina
2) They are neutered boys, not too old (6 or 7?)
3) My sister has a 3-month old

They went on vacation last week, and when they came back everything was fine (had a friend watching them). But soon they noticed Percival not peeing and trying to, and that he just seemed ill, so off to the emergency vet with him. His pee was almost brown, the vet said it was a very bad infection, he was totally blocked, etc. He has peed and is on antibiotics, standard UTI recovery.

But what really worries me is that his brother-cat recently has had UTIs as well and has needed Valium also.

My BIL has said they should get a water fountain and pet insurance (like Julie, heheheheheee) because with a 3 month old they don't have a ton of extra money if the cats were to need surgery or something, these two ER vet bills have been well over 1k total.

I have said to start feeding them better food, she's always thought I was crazy for spending so much on Zissou's food but maybe she'll come over to my side.

What do you guys think? Any other advice? They're both very stressed about my nephew I'm quite sure, but I don't know how to fix that!

What kind of food would you suggest?
post #2 of 6
When Oberon had recurring UTIs, our vet put him on special food (it was Science Diet, I believe C/D) to help dissolve crystals. He was on it for several years. High-quality food will definitely make a difference in the health of your sister's kitties (and for people, too). It's a different kind of insurance IMO. I hope she starts listening to you. The cats could be stressed from the addition to the family and the vacation.

Congrats on your new nephew!
post #3 of 6
For cats with UTIs and crystals wet food is very important. It provides the moisture the cat needs to pee more often. It's important to keep the pee moving through the cat's system so crystals don't have time to form. The water fountain is a good idea if it will encourage the cats to drink more water.

It's also important that a cat who is susceptible to crystals not eat food containing a lot of fish. Fish in cat food contains ground cartilage, which contains magnesium. Too much magnesium in the diet can contribute to the formation of struvite crystals.

For my two boys, Eric and Kolohe, who have a history of crystals I'm feeding grain and fish free flavors of Wellness and Natural Balance.

Here are a couple of links that may be helpful to your sister.


Good luck to your sister and her cats. I hope the kitties are feeling better soon.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the congrats! I am absolutely in love with that baby!

I think they are very stressed about all the changes with the new baby, Percival was/is very attached to my BIL and you can almost see his jealousy-- if he's holding the baby Percival sits on his lap too. Before to a lesser degree everything was all about the cats (Schmaltz was my sister's Zissou, her first pet ever, gotten as a baby, etc) and now it's all about my nephew.

He always scoots the water all over the place, like he's trying to make it move, or he'll drink out of the toilet (blech) so i really think a fountain would get him drinking more.

That is really good to know about the fish, I never knew that! They do eat wet food, but it's that 9lives stuff. From observation of when Zissou ate it for about a month I know it ain't good, it even made her kind of lethargic and stinky and greasy, which stopped as soon as I switched her back to the good stuff. I don't think I'm gonna be able to convince her to do Wellness or Natural Balance... She was feeding a urinary health dry food for a while and has said she'll go back to that.
post #5 of 6
One question would be what was Percival's pH (and his brother)? And/or what type of crystals were found?

The #1 suspect is dry food. Regardless of quality or formula, it's no good for a cat w/ bladder issues. I would suggest eliminating it from their diet.

Wet food is essential IMO. I'll duck when I say this, but even cheap wet food would be much better than dry food. But, premium wet food can be affordable by feeding from 12oz cans and watching sales, checking prices, etc. 1 12oz can would be slightly more than 2 of my cats eat in a day.

Fishy stuff is suspect. Grains are suspect. Magnesium is a suspect. Some cats are more sensitive to certain things than others.

When they're on wet food only, they'll rarely take a drink...because a cat that eats dry and drinks water still gets far less moisture than a cat that eats wet food. Fountains are neat and do encourage more water consumption but not enough to come close to a wet diet.

I don't think they can get these issues covered by insurance in the future unless kitty goes 6 months with no problems, then it's not a pre-existing condition. That's what I found with a couple of companies, anyway. I would spend the money on their diet instead. It has paid me back many, many times already.

I hope the boys feel better soon.
post #6 of 6
I agree with what's been said. Pippin's been having crystal issues as well as UTIs since his PU surgery.
I have switched him from purina/meow mix dry and occasional friskies wet to nutro roasted chicken (for UTI health) and two meals / day of wellness grain free. He eats a 1/2 can of wellness split between two meals and the 5 kitties share 2 cups of food split between two meals (then left out for them to nibble on). I also added a water fountain, but that was when he was having constipation issues.

Stress is a major factor. Pippin is a little stress monkey and does not like change. I believe it has to do with his brother Merry dying after wasting away from an unknown ailment for 6 months.

The food and water changes have helped, as well as having a routine. I used to free feed, and now we have meals which all the kitties like. He comes to bed when I do and I brush him for a while before sleeping. He also is on Zeniquin for his current UTI and a 1/4 of a 5mg Valium each morning.

I try not to panic so much when I see him straining. However, since his PU surgery, it's very unlikely he'll become blocked. More likely is that he is having bladder spasms. When I miss a wet food meal for whatever reason, he is more likely to have an episode. Instead of freaking out and running to the vet, I give him a 1/4 valium and talk softly to him and stroke him until he is able to relax enough to eliminate.

With the new baby in the house and them going on vacation it's no wonder they are stressed and upset. I know there are threads on here about helping cats adapt to a new baby and seperation anxiety, so maybe they would help with some advice too.

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